This collection of folk songs of the Šokac community of the Baranja region is published by the Archdiocese of Đakovo and Osijek and the Koraci Baštine (Heritage Steps) association, and was printed in Osijek in 2014. The presentation was graced by performances by the folk singers of the church of St Lawrence in the Baranja village of Petrovo Selo, Đakovo’s own Zrinka Posavec and the members of the Sinovi Atara ensemble of Zagreb and the Sloga Culture & Arts Society from Draž.

The presentation of a collection of sheet music by Miroslava Hadžihusejnović Valašek MSc was held on the 27th of March at the auditorium of the Zagreb headquarters of the Croatian Heritage Foundation. Joining the author to speak about the When the Glorious Time Comes collection were Naila Ceribašić DSc, a research advisor with the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research and a full professor at the Zagreb Music Academy, and ethnologist and historian Krunoslav Šokac with the Lado National Folk Dance Ensemble of Croatia.
The gathered were welcomed on behalf of the CHF by director Marin Knezović MSc, and by Monsignor Fabijan Svalina, the deputy general secretary of the Croatian Conference of Bishops and the director of Caritas Croatia, on behalf of the publisher, the Archdiocese of Đakovo and Osijek. The presentation was staged in the frame of the Passion Heritage event, with founder Jozo Čikeš. The promotion was moderated by Vesna Kukavica, the head of the CHF publishing department.
This collection of folk songs of the Šokac community of the Baranja region is published by the Archdiocese of Đakovo and Osijek and the Koraci Baštine (Heritage Steps) association, and was printed in Osijek in 2014. Joining Monsignor Svalina at the promotion on behalf of the publisher was Sister Viktorija Šimić, the archdiocesan commissioner for pastoral and traditional culture and ethnology, and Katarina Bušić, a member of the archdiocesan commission for pastoral traditional culture.
The book is based on field research, recordings and transcripts (sheet music) by the author. The collection is dedicated to sisters Jela Golubov and Eva Barišin from the settlement of Draž in the Baranja region, especially deserving in preserving this valuable church music heritage. The first section of the book offers an overview of the work on documenting church folk songs among refugees from Baranja in Osijek (1994 – 1996) and in Baranja itself (2010 – 2012). This is followed by an overview of Croatian songbooks published in the Podunavlje region in the 19th and 20th centuries and an overview of the oldest published texts of songs and the characteristics of the published songs and the ways of using the collection. The second section of the book consists of a collection of notation for 179 songs with complete texts and additional information. The song order follows the order of the Duhovna radost (Spiritual Joy) textual songbook predominantly in use in the Baranja region. Included in the appendices are twelve scores for the vocal performance of Baranja songs by the Lado ensemble of Zagreb, a bibliography, information about the author and a list of songs on the CD accompanying the book. The Compact Disc offers a selection from the recordings made in the field and includes 35 vocal performances by Jela Golubov and Eva Barišin from Draž, Stipe and Janja Torjanac from Torjanci and the Ižipci vocal ensemble from Topolje.
The author of the collection, Osijek native Miroslava Hadžihusejnović Valašek MSc (1935), graduated from and earned her master’s degree at the Music Academy of the University of Zagreb. She is a long time permanent outside associate and associate of state-owned broadcasters Croatian Radio and Croatian Television, respectively. She also works with the Passion Heritage association and is a project leader with the Ministry of Culture. She moved to Zagreb in the 1990s as a retired professor of the Faculty of Teacher Education in Osijek. She has authored three collections of sheet music, some seventy scientific and research papers in miscellanies and almanacs and has produced some 1,400 shows in the From Croatia’s Folk Heritage series and a dozen records.
A musical performance (a cappella) was presented by the folk singers of the church of St Lawrence in the Baranja region village of Petrovo Selo, joined by the members of the Sinovi Atara men’s vocal ensemble of Zagreb and the Sloga Culture & Arts Society men’s ensemble from Draž. Also performing was soprano Zrinka Posavec from Đakovo. The entertainers performed wearing Šokac folk costumes.
Croatia’s Baranja region lies in the triangle formed by the Drava River, the Danube River and the border with Hungary. It is now part of the Slavonia-Baranja region, Osijek-Baranja County and the archdiocese of Đakovo and Osijek. Hundred’s of years previously spent under the administration of the diocese of the Hungarian town of Pécs have left a strong imprint on the church folk music of Šokac Croatians, such that it differs significantly from the church music of other parts of continental Croatia. The traditional folk songs of Baranja are captivating in their melodiousness, the Ikavian dialectical version of the Croatian language and their spiritual power. In 2011 the Ministry of Culture included Baranja church folk singing in its register of Croatia’s protected intangible culture heritage.

Text: Diana Šimurina Šoufek; Photos: Snježana Radoš